Hundreds of kazoos

As local University of Winnipeg campus radio station CKUW gets ready to kick off their annual Fundrive, the station is not only raising money for their next year of operation, but also celebrating 50 years of providing grassroots, listener-driven, Nickleback-free, quality programming.

“It’s had its ups and downs – the key has been consistency,” said Kent Davies—ex-CKUW staffer and volunteer DJ with long-running show ‘Peg City Groove—as he reflected on his time spent organizing Fundrive.

“Over the years it’s gotten bigger and crazier with the amount of events, guests, schwag, and overall craziness. We’ve kind of swung for the fences a few times now with having live streamed shows from the Lo Pub and our own [beer] from Half Pints. I think we’re getting back to basics now. At the end of the day it’s all about having [a] truly independent radio station controlled by the community of Winnipeg.”

The station fundraises each year in order to keep CKUW broadcasting the sweetest of tunes by local volunteer DJs, and to ensure a little breathing room in terms of budgetary costs.

“The funds cover general maintenance costs, equipment upgrades, server space, etc.,” stated Davies. “Basically the funding you would need to run a radio station for another year. We also put a little away just in case something happens and we can no longer be funded by the student levy or have to move off campus. These Fundrives ensure that we have [a] safety net so we’ll be able to survive as a community radio station.”

Come Feb. 8, listeners should not only be prepared to empty their change purses and money clips, but also get ready to enjoy some quality entertainment as boasted by CKUW’s Fundrive each year.

CKUW will be kicking off the weeklong event on Feb. 8 with a night of music at the Rose n’ Bee Pub, featuring Indicator Indicator, the Young Pixels, Merch Table Delite, and Ex Modern Teen.

With the demise of beloved Winnipeg venue the Lo Pub, Davies admits that there has been some trouble booking shows given the loss of the strong relationship CKUW once had with the pub that just happened to be down the street from the station itself.

“It’s a huge loss,” stated Davies. “Without the Lo Pub it’s been difficult to host events this Fundrive – everyone there helped us out a lot. Luckily we have support from Brandon Ackerman at the Windsor and Matt Rosenby at the Rose n’ Bee Pub, as well as some awesome bands [who] put a couple shows together for Fundrive.”

Later on in the week on Feb. 14, the Windsor will be turning their weekly draft night into a Fundrive extravaganza with sets from Smoki T. and the Manitobandits, the Blisters, and J. Riley Hill and the Magic Bears.

As usual, listeners who donate to Fundrive will be given the choice between a charitable tax receipt or some high-quality prizes such as t-shirts, toques, and the famed CKUW discount card good for deals at local retailers around the city.

In addition to their usual schwag, CKUW has another giveaway treat up their sleeves this time around.

“There [are] a lot incentives for each show: custom sound systems, posters, t-shirts, and LPs,” said Davies.

“We also love kazoos and are giving away [hundreds] of them to everyone who pledges.”

Listeners can pledge to CKUW’s Fundrive right now at or by calling (204) 774-6877 from Feb. 8-15.